A Student’s First Steps into the College World

The first in a new series of updates from Horizon Honors alums, Madeline Moran from Oberlin College.


Photo Courtesy of Danielle Moran

College freshman, Madeline Moran, cheesing on campus in her favorite Oberlin sweatshirt.

Danielle Moran, Columnist

When thinking about graduation, it’s common for us to contemplate the end; the end of high school, the end of youth and freedom, the end of life as high schoolers know it. However, Horizon Honors graduate, Madeline Moran, class of 2014, has found that graduation actually means a new beginning. This new beginning is a simple yet scary, inspiring yet intimidating, seven letter word that most high schoolers fear more than the SATs themselves: college. Moran has started her new beginning as a freshman at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. There she attends as a student, athlete, and friend to many new faces.

Moran is currently undecided as to what she wishes to major in during her time at Oberlin, so she takes several classes that allow her to experience an array of topics. Her favorite subjects are environmental studies and art; she even says majoring in studio art could be a future possibility.

Art isn’t Moran’s only specialty, however. The freshman also plays on the school’s volleyball team as a defensive specialist, or back row player. Oberlin is a Division Three school, has practices every day, and games every weekend. Moran has found that being on a college sports team has many advantages, especially for a freshman. “[The team is] a very welcoming community, a very nice bunch of people, and you automatically have a support group whenever you need it,” she says.

Moran also answered these questions about her college experience thus far:


The Horizon Sun: How was the adjustment from Horizon Honors to Oberlin College?

Madeline Moran: I know that Horizon isn’t that big of a school, but [the change] wasn’t too hard because Oberlin’s not that big either. I mean, being away from home is kind of hard because you’re on your own for a while and on those days when you just want to curl up and sleep, there’s a roommate and everything. But it’s also fun because you always have all these friends surrounding you and everyone’s in the same place you are, so that makes the transition easier.


The Sun: What’s your favorite thing about college life so far?

MM: I like making all these new friends and joining a new community, especially this specific community with the kids in my dorm.


The Sun: What’s your favorite thing about Oberlin College itself?

MM: It’s a pretty campus and an overall very nice place to be. Everyone here is so accepting and there’s a variety of different people and ideas, so I find it really cool to be at a place where everyone can be themselves.


The Sun: How do find time to manage volleyball and academics?

MM: Classes don’t go on all day every day, so in-between classes I do work, and after practice, I’ll do work.


The Sun: What advice would you give to people coming into college next year?

MM: Bring lots of things that remind you of home (it helps when your dorm is hideous) and do the homework (your professors get really mad if you don’t). Also, make sure you have lots of snack foods all the time. I cannot stress this enough.


As you can see, Moran is loving her new beginning at college and is excited to see what the next four years at Oberlin College have in store for her.